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SONINETS ON A SUMMER, VOYAGE. B Y E. S. A. R. G E A N T.
BRAVELY our trim ship rode the tempest through;
And, when the exhausted gale had ceased to rave,
How broke the day-star on the gazer's view
How flushed the orient every crested wave
The sun threw down his shield of golden light
In fierce defiance on the ocean's bed;
Whereat, the clouds betook themselves to flight,
Like routed hosts, with banners soiled and red.
The sky was soon all brilliance, east and west:
All traces of the gale had passed away—
The chiming billows by the breeze caressed,
Tossed lightly from their heads the feathery spray.
Ah! thus may Hope's auspicious star again
Rise o'er the troubled soul where gloom and grief have
Thou wanderer from green fields and leafy nooks'
Where bloom the flower and toils the honey-bee-
Where odorous blossoms drift along the brooks,
And woods and hills are very fair to see–
Why hast thou left thy native bough to roam,
With drooping wing, far o'er the briny billow 4
Thou canst not, like the osprey, cleave the foam,
Nor, like the petrel, make the wave thy pillow.
Thou'rt like those fine-toned spirits, gentle bird
Which, from some better land, to this rude life
Seem borne—they struggle, 'mid the common herd,
With powers unfitted for the selfish strife!
Haply, at length, some zephyr wafts them back
To their own home of peace, across the world's dull
That I were in some forest's green retreat!
Beneath a towering arch of proud old elms;
Where a clear streamlet gurgled at my feet—
Its wavelets glittering in their tiny helms'
Thick clustering vines, in many a rich festoon,
From the high, rustling branches should depend;
Weaving a net, through which the sultry noon
Might stoop in vain its fiery beams to send,
There, prostrate on some rock's gray sloping side,
Upon whose tinted moss the dew yet lay,
Would I catch glimpses of the clouds that ride,
Athwart the sky—and dream the hours away;
While through the alleys of the sunless wood [imbued.
The fanning breeze might steal, with wild-flowers’ breath
B Y F. G. H. A. L. L. E. C. K. - ; [To a boy four years old, on hearing him play on the harp.]
Sweet boy! before thy lips can learn
In speech thy wishes to make known,
Are “thoughts that breathe and words that burn”
Heard in thy music's tone.
Were Genius tasked to prove the might,
The magic of her hidden spell,
She well might name thee with delight
As her own miracle.
Who that hath heard, from summer trees,
The sweet wild song of summer birds,
When morning to the far-off breeze
Whispers her bidding words;
Or listened to the bird of night,
The minstrel of the star-light hours,
Companion of the fire-fly's flight,
Cool dews, and closed flowers;
But deemed that spirits of the air
Had left their native homes in heaven,
And that the music warbled there
To earth awhile was given ;
For with that music came the thought
That life’s young purity was theirs,
And love, all artless, and untaught,
Breathed in their woodland airs.
And when, sweet boy thy baby fingers Wake sounds of heaven's own harmony,
How welcome is the thought that lingers Upon thy lyre and thee!
It calls up visions of past days,
When life was infancy and song
To us, and old remembered lays,
Unheard, unheeded long;
Revive in joy or grief within us,
Like lost friends wakened from their sleep
With all their early power to win us
Alike to smile or weep.
And when we gaze upon that face,
Blooming in innocence and truth,
And mark its dimpled artlessness,
Its beauty and its youth;
We think of better worlds than this,
Of other beings pure as thou,
Who breathe, on winds of Paradise,
Music as thine is now.
And know the only emblem meet
Of that pure Faith the heart adores,
To be a child like thee, whose feet
Are strangers on Life's shores.